Dr. Fatma Kaplan is the co-founder, CEO of Pheronym. She is an entrepreneur and accomplished scientist with experience in both biology and chemistry. She has a Ph.D. in Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology and postdoctoral training in Natural Product Chemistry with a focus on isolating biologically active compounds. Dr. Kaplan discovered the first sex pheromone of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and published in Nature in 2008. Then, she discovered that pheromones regulate other behaviors in both parasitic and beneficial nematodes. Dr. Kaplan conducted the first agricultural biocontrol experiment in Space at the International Space Station in 2020. Dr. Kaplan worked as a scientist at NASA, the National Magnetic Field Laboratory, and the USDA. She was an Activate Berkeley Fellow & Berkeley Lab Affiliate Cyclotron Road. Dr. Kaplan was featured on the cover of AWIS magazine, for sustainable future. Dr. Kaplan co-founded Pheronym to bring nematode pheromone technology to the market.
Ana Zélia Miller
Ana is a Geomicrobiologist at the Institute of Natural Resources of Agrobiology of Seville (IRNAS-CSIC) & research member at the HERCULES Laboratory at Évora University in Portugal. Her career is focused on geomicrobiology of subterranean environments, with emphasis on microbe-mineral interactions, biosignatures and biomineralization in volcanic caves from Canary Islands (Spain), Easter Island (Chile), Monte Etna (Sicily, Italy), Galapagos (Ecuador), and Selvagens Islands (Portugal). She designed and implemented a geomicrobiological sampling procedure valid for future planetary caves exploration and astronaut training programs of the European Space Agency and has participated in the organisation of the ESA PANGAEA and CAVES training campaigns. She leads the MICROCENO project to explore for the first time the volcanic caves from the remote Selvagens Islands (NE Atlantic), in collaboration with ESA and National Geographic Portugal. She is a member of the ESA Topical Team on “Planetary caves with a focus on future Lunar cave missions” and the Advisory Board of the ESA SciSpacE Strategy to develop a global research strategy for future space exploration missions.
Dr. Christyl Johnson is Goddard’s Deputy Director for technology and research investments. She manages the center’s research and development portfolio and is responsible for formulating the center’s future science mission and technology goals and objectives. She came to NASA Goddard from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she served under the President’s science adviser as the executive director of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). Prior to joining the White House staff, Johnson served as the assistant associate administrator in NASA’s Office of the Administrator. In this role, she and the associate administrator provided the oversight of the agency’s technical mission areas and field center operations. Johnson earned her Bachelor’s degree in physics from Lincoln University, a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in systems engineering from George Washington University.
Richard Garriott de Cayeux currently serves as the President of the Explorers Club. He is a flown astronaut and the first explorer to go pole to pole, orbited the Earth, and reached the deepest point in the Ocean. The son of a NASA astronaut, he became the first second-generation astronaut.
Mayor of Angra do Heroísmo
José Álamo Meneses was born in the Parish of Santa Cruz, municipality of Praia da Vitória. He graduated in Environmental Engineering at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology – University of Lisbon, and has a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Rhode Island, USA. Since 2013 he has served as the Mayor of Angra do Heroísmo and is also a University Professor. He was the Director of the Sciences Department of the University of the Azores, and was the founder of the Association of Environmental Defense “Gê-Questa”. He is the author of several studies and publications in the areas of environmental impact assessment and management of water resources in insular and coastal regions. He was a member of the Regional Government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores and has served as Regional Secretary for the Environment; Regional Secretary for Education and Science; Regional Secretary for Education and Culture; and Regional Secretary for Education and Social Affairs.
Dr. Tess Caswell is an engineer, scientist, and analog astronaut who grew up in a log cabin in the woods of Alaska. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a PhD in Geological Sciences from Brown University. She has floated in weightlessness, studied the flow of ice within moons of the outer solar system, and worked in control rooms for government and private space programs. As a member of the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) XI crew, she lived in a simulated space station for thirty days to study the effects of isolation and stress on astronaut crews. She is an alumnus of the NASA Academy and the NASA/JPL Planetary Science Summer Seminar. She is currently a member of the Extravehicular Activities (EVA) team at NASA Johnson Space Center, where she plans spacewalks and helps prepare the next generation of lunar explorers for the Artemis program. She is a fervent believer in the power of space exploration to inspire the next generation.